Halloween: Holiday Parent-Time

Halloween has come, the falling leaves, pumpkin spice, and trick-or-treaters. With the fun also comes questions about custody during Halloween time for quality parent-time. However, the questions arise because, unfortunately, Halloween is treated differently than all of the other holidays included in Utah Code Ann. 30-3-35, which provides a default schedule for holiday parent-time. Almost all of the other holidays include overnight and the day of the holiday. 

With Halloween, however, there is no corresponding overnight. Also, the day and time of celebration are not fixed by the federal government’s holiday but rather by the local community’s.  

Utah Code Ann. sec. 30-3-35(2)(g)(vi) explains that noncustodial parents are entitled to Halloween in even-numbered years, which indicates that the custodial parent must be entitled to the holiday in odd-numbered years. But, if your court order does not specify which of the parents is the noncustodial parent, it is usually granted to the parent with fewer overnight stays per year.

Better put, the code specifically states:

“(vi) Halloween on October 31 or the day Halloween is traditionally celebrated in the local community from after school until 9 p.m. if on a school day, or from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.”

The law also references the local community to determine the date and time for the celebration. This means that when Halloween falls in the middle of the week, your local community might have trick-or-treat hours during Friday or Saturday, and that may be different between households/communities. 

For the most part, the courts will expect co-parents to work through the issue and sort it out with the child’s best interest in mind. In this manner, the parents can maximize the opportunity for the child to have fun with them. In most cases, the child will have multiple opportunities to trick-or-treat if the parents live in two different communities and they celebrate Halloween on different days. If you’re counting overnight parent time throughout the year, feel free to skip Halloween into the calculation. It seems like it gets a bit lighter on custodial demands throughout Halloween. So spend time with your children.

Call a Utah expert family law attorney immediately if you are dealing with lash back from your ex-spouse. Here at Burton Law, we can help you reach the common ground so you can all enjoy Halloween and all the inevitable candy. Call our office during regular business hours today to get a free consultation.

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